Friday, March 28, 2008
Clyde Wine and Food Festival
On Sunday I traveled down to Clyde for their annual Wine and Food Festival to understand more about the Alexandra wine region. As I have alluded to in the past there are three wine making regions in Central Otago - Gibbston Valley, Alexandra and Bannockburn (where Felton Road is located).
Whereas Gibbston Valley's issue is sometimes not getting fruit ripe enough and ending up with "vegetal" flavor in their Pinots, Alexandra's problem seemed to lay more with having overly ripe wines with not enough acid or tannins to give the wine structure. Tasty on first sip but the wine ends up "blousy" and unsatisfying.
The one exception I found was the well made Three Miners. Their 2006 Pinot Noir had a ripe cherry flavor with some juicy acid, silky mouth feel and with some light oaky tannin to fill out the wine on the palate. It is a bargain at NZ$25 where most Central Otago Pinot Noir is north of NZ$35. Their vineyard in Alexandra is very new so they have a bright future indeed as the vines mature. Currently they only distribute in New Zealand but I am sure you will see them in the US and UK in the future as production expands. Keep an eye out!
I still think that the real quality Central Otrago Pinot Noirs are being made in the Bannockburn area, and since over 70% of Pinot Noir vines are here, other vintners seem to agree. Just my $0.02.